Friday, March 22, 2019

It's good to be here...

..."when I am blessed with an experience of God's presence, the best response is simply to say what Peter said that day on the mountain, 'It's good to be here.'"
The Little Black Book

'Tis good, indeed. I find that my mind goes to this regularly in my still-new life in Boise. I go out, pre-dawn, to walk the dog and see the full moon, giving its last glow to the neighborhood. It's good to be here. I'm volunteering at a music festival this week, checking-in young, excited artists. It's good to be here. With that, I get to see Daughter Jeni Rose and her BFF, Johan, in their full-on festival mode. It's good to be here. It's good to be sitting in my treehouse as my tree is budding and the buds get bigger each day. We had our whole family together last weekend for a day of moving, laughing and sharing over Thai food. It's the BEST to be here. All of these experiences are, to me, experiences of the goodness and presence of God. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and so I said, again and again, it is good to be here! Lent is a good time for us to think about the many experiences of God we have in a looking for them, we will see them. Love, heidi

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Forgiveness = tough stuff

"What humanity really needs is an honest exposure of the truth and accountability for what has happened. Only then can human beings move ahead with dignity. Hurt needs to be spoken and heard. It does not just go away on its own."
Richard Rohr, "Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps" (as quoted in "Becoming Instruments of God's Peace")

That certainly helps...the accountability and the sense of feeling heard. But what if the entity we need to forgive is just too big, like an institution?  It doesn't seem feasible to sit down and be "heard" or, maybe, we have spoken out and have been ignored or patted on the head and placated, "There, there, now, go away."  What if they aren't sorry? I think we still need to forgive on our side. We are the ones who need our forgiveness--for them. We need to be able to let go of our anger and bitterness, as yesterday's Daily claimed Mary did, somehow, at the foot of the cross. In the same little lenten book, Sr. Joyce Rupp is quoted on forgiveness: "I don't have to do this instantly, and I don't have to renew a relationship with that person...Until I have peace within myself regarding the relationship, I have not fully forgiven the other person." (Sr. Joyce Rupp, "Inviting God In") Bottom line: this forgiveness business is tough stuff, not for the faint of heart. Maybe that's why we need the period of Lent to work on it! Love, heidi

Monday, March 18, 2019

Transform the darkness...

"In essence, what Mary was doing under the cross was this: her silence and strength were speaking these words: 'Today, I can't stop the crucifixion; nobody can. Sometimes darkness will have its hour. But I can stop some of the hatred, bitterness, jealousy, and heartlessness that caused it--by refusing to give it back in kind, by transforming negativity rather than retransmitting it, by swallowing hard, in silence, and eating the bitterness rather than giving it back in kind.'"
Fr. Ronald Rohlheiser, "Sacred Fire" (as quoted in "Becoming Instruments of God's Peace")

I feel that darkness is "having its hour" right now in our country and world. We feel powerless to stop it, so what can we possibly do? We can stop it by not contributing to it, for one thing. We can do our part, within our circle of influence, to help all around us and extend our love as far out as possible. Lent gives us the opportunity to reach out a little farther, to maybe stretch ourselves a bit beyond our comfort zones. We can transform our anxious feelings and frustration into concrete action, not by just complaining, but by getting out there and rolling up our sleeves. We can become the good we desire to see instead of complaining that we don't see it. Love, heidi